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The Future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: What’s Next for Multifamily Lending

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About one-third of multifamily loans nationwide are Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans, according to a CrediFi report on multifamily lending trends released today, suggesting that the question of whether the agencies will remain tethered to the government could have a significant impact on the stability of the multifamily segment as well as the commercial real estate industry at large.

The report found that financing for multifamily has been more stable than other major property types in 2018, staying flat as other property types declined.

But one factor that could rattle the multifamily segment is the major changes that may be afoot for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The question of a shake-up has become more pressing due in part to comments made in January by Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Joseph Otting that the regulator would shortly be announcing plans to remove the government-sponsored enterprises from conservatorship. Otting’s comments, which pushed up shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, came after similar remarks over the past two years by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell.

I would like to get them out of conservatorship,” Mnuchin said about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in December. And Powell has called for Congress to encourage private capital to be funneled into Fannie and Freddie, in a bid to avoid the kind of taxpayer bailout that took place during the global financial crisis.

The push away from conservatorship has some real estate professionals concerned.

“Housing is the backbone of the economy,” Richard Katzenstein, senior vice president and national director of Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp., told Multi-Housing News. “Privatizing GSEs would definitely change the industry.”

Such a major change “is likely to significantly reduce stability and liquidity in the multifamily mortgage and property markets,” Freddie Mac president David Brickman told the Commercial Observer.

But Mark Calabria, the nominee for FHFA director and an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, may instead be prioritizing a different plan to infuse the agencies with capital, American Banker reported in March.

That plan, the article said, involves allowing Fannie and Freddie to retain more of their earnings following renegotiation of an agreement that currently requires the agencies to use much of their profits to pay for their bailouts.

“I support the concept of having significantly more capital at the GSEs,” Calabria told the Senate Banking Committee at his nomination hearing in February. But whether that capital comes from the agencies’ own profits or from private sources, as Powell has suggested, remains to be seen.

Find out more about financing trends in the multifamily segment. Read CrediFi’s multifamily trends report.

Related stories:

View from the Top: Freddie, Fannie, Marriages and Mergers
Weakened Multifamily Confidence
Top Fannie Mae Lenders

 

 

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Mary has over 25 years of experience in sales and customer engagement, including more than a decade at Thomson Reuters. She is the former head of client services at Complinet, a global compliance and risk software company that was acquired by Thomson Reuters, and led account management for over 15 years at NYSE/Sector’s outsourcing services division. Mary has an MBA in information systems from Pace University and a bachelor’s of science in computer science from Hofstra University.  

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David Libman, a fintech and investment professional with 20 years’ experience in fields including finance, technology, new business development and real estate investments, is head of product at CrediFi. Previously, David was a vice president at New York-based iCapital Network, a financial technology platform for alternative investments, and director of acquisitions at Fieldstone Properties, a private real estate investment firm focused on investment-grade multifamily property. David is also the founder and former CEO of Globerex, the first real estate equity online marketplace.  

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Alex Veksler has 16 years of finance, data analysis and project management experience. He is a former vice president at Morgan Stanley, where he worked on product control of equity and fixed-income derivatives products as well as various projects involving finance and technology, such as revamping risk attribution and balance-sheet systems for profits and losses. Alex has previously worked at hedge funds, most recently as a director at Exigent Capital. He has a bachelor’s in computer science from Yeshiva University and an MBA from New York University.

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Ely Razin founded CrediFi in 2014 with Battery Ventures. A rare combination of seasoned corporate executive and technology entrepreneur, Ely previously served as global head of board governance for Thomson Reuters Accelus and head of business law for Thomson Reuters, after the software company he founded was acquired in 2004. The company, Expert Ease Software, developed AI-based software that automatically summarizes key deal terms for transactions in fields including capital markets, M&A and real estate. Ely began his career as a corporate and securities lawyer, and holds an LLB and MBA from York University.

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Charles Mctiernan comes to CrediFi from Ned Davis Research Group and Roubini Global Economics, where he was the global head of sales. He also spent more than 10 years at Reuters America Holdings, where he held a number of senior sales leadership roles, including head of solutions sales and head of global accounts. Charles, who received his bachelor’s in economics from East Carolina University, has more than 25 years of experience in technology, data and research sales.

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